Professional soccer player Robbie Rogers, who came out and retired in February, has returned to the Los Angeles Galaxies as the first active gay player in any American professional soccer league.
“An exciting future lies ahead, not only for me but for our society,” Rogers posted on his Instagram.
Signing with his team this past weekend, he credited his activities with the Nike Be True LGBT Youth Forum as helping him change his mind.
“I seriously felt like a coward,” said Rogers in an interview with “USA Today.”
“These kids are standing up for themselves and changing the world, and I’m 25, I have a platform and a voice to be a role model. How much of a coward was I to not step up to the plate?”
While teasing his return last month, Rogers also noted that Jason Collins’ coming out and support from his teammates persuaded his decision to return to the field.
“People have seen how accepting everyone has been of Jason’s and my story. I think it’s going to take just more time and more athletes coming out,” Rogers continued.
“It’s all about seeing that it’s not something to be afraid of. It’s not going to hurt your career. I keep saying the word normal, normal, but it was. It was just good to be back. I’m excited to move on from here.”
In a recent game against the Seattle Sounders, the Los Angeles Galaxies won by 4-0.
“It was really perfect,” said Rogers in an interview with the “New York Times.”
“We won, which is most important. My family was here, my friends. My grandparents. I’ve kind of been on this huge journey trying to figure out my life. And now I’m back here. I think kind of where I’m supposed to be.”